All in the span of three months, sophomore guard Madison Johnson of the Slippery Rock University women’s basketball team started her SRU career, secured a starting role and won the Rocket’s Athlete of the Month poll for November.
“I think it’s pretty awesome. I feel pretty honored to be Athlete of the Month out of all the athletes on campus,” Johnson said. “I was up against other great athletes, it’s pretty rewarding.”
Johnson has started all but one game for the Rock this year after transferring from St. Francis (Pa.) and becoming a starting shooting guard for The Rock.
“At first [the transition] was definitely very different, I had to get used to a whole new school and a whole new team,” Johnson said. “I knew some of the girls beforehand, I just really worked hard. Coach McGraw was really great at adapting me into their style of play, and I felt at home.”
Johnson was tabbed by Slippery Rock head coach Bobby McGraw as someone who would make the biggest impact among new players, and done that she has. Johnson ranks in the top three on the team in points, minutes played, offensive rebounds, assists, free-throw percentage and three-point percentage.
“For the most part I’ve been an all-around player, [but] more of a guard. I’ve definitely learned to try to do it all.”
Something that Johnson has excelled at particularly is her three-point shooting. She is currently shooting 38.1 percent from beyond the arc, which would put her at fifth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), but she barely does not have enough attempts to qualify.
“For the most part, I’ve always been a decent [three-point] shooter. I’ve always worked hard on my outside shooting,” Johnson said. “I was a little surprised at how good my percentage is, that’s something that I’ve always been able to do well. They needed me to do it well this year on the team.”
Johnson’s best three-point performance was against Shippensburg, when she went 4-6 from deep, along the way to her 27 points on the day, the second-most for any Rock player this year.
As part of a team that is currently 3-1 in conference play and outperforming expectations, Johnson has high expectations for her team, who has two more conference games before taking two weeks off for winter break.
“I really hope to get a win this weekend. Our team is doing very well so far this year, I just hope to keep playing together and enjoying our time, eventually making it to playoffs.” Johnson said.